Two websites belonging to the Nepalese government have been injected with malicious code that tries to take advantage of a Java vulnerability (CVE-2012-0507) in order to download a backdoor RAT on the visitors’ machines, Websense warns.
The sites in question are those of the National Information Technology Center (nitc.gov.np) and the Office of the Prime Minister and Council Minister (opmcm.gov.np), and the code injected in them has been taken from the Metasploit framework and was not obfuscated in any way.
The malware pushed onto the victims is the Zegost RAT, previously used in a variety of targeted attacks aimed at Tibetans and Uyghurs.
This fact, along with the discovery that, once installed and working, the tool phones home to the same C&C server located in China and used in an earlier compromise of the Amnesty UK website seems to point to the same perpetrators.
“The backdoor also uses common features like other common backdoors, such as keylogging, and supports the ability to accept and run commands remotely. As in other cases, we can see that this backdoor isn’t highly complex at all, but it’s certainly no less effective than other complex malware once executed on the target systems,” Websense researchers point out.
“Another interesting aspect of this backdoor file is that it’s signed with a valid certificate (that appears to have been revoked) issued to 360.cn (a Chinese ISP) by VeriSign.”